Criminal Justice

Offered as a major (B.S.)

A criminal justice major lays a foundation for understanding contemporary criminal justice theory and practice.

You will develop the knowledge, values, and ethical consciousness that are essential to careers in public law enforcement and corrections agencies, or pursuing graduate study in law, judicial administration, and other professions.

The Curriculum

An inter-disciplined approach

You will gain foundational knowledge through courses in sociology, political science, psychology, management, public administration, criminology, and law. Overall, your studies will emphasize criminal and constitutional law, crime and criminal behavior, and criminal justice systems.

Learn crucial skills

Critical thinking and communications skills are crucial to a criminal justice major. By combining them with field-specific knowledge, you will be able to analyze and evaluate contemporary criminal justice issues and practices. Additionally, you will apply ethical principles to criminal justice problem solving.

Put your skills into practice

You are required to complete an internship in a criminal justice or related agency. (This is normally done in your junior or senior year.) This hands-on experience—combined with your courses' service learning, research projects, and field trips to justice agencies—allows you to bridge theory with practice.

Pursue your individual interests

You will be able to take courses that allow you to follow you career interests. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Criminal law and due process
  • Law enforcement issues
  • Judicial process
  • Criminal sentencing
  • Corrections and offender reform
  • Terrorism
  • Forensic investigation
  • White collar crime
  • Violence and victimization
  • Family violence
  • Criminal psychology
The Experience
Photo of student or faculty

Teaching and mentoring experiential learning through research, instruction, and service has provided unique opportunities and invaluable academic growth for myself and my students. Our passions are deepened and our horizons are expanded.

Schannae Lucas
Associate Professor
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I think every person can experience life-changing transformation through service. So I engage my students in meaningful learning and service opportunities to help them discover and live out their purpose.

Helen Lim
Associate Professor
Your Future

Most students who complete the degree are employed in a criminal justice agency such as law enforcement or probation. Many find employment in private organizations such as insurance companies.

More than 80% of our graduates secure employment in the field immediately upon graduation. With greater local and national attention focused on law enforcement and national security, criminal justice students with bachelor's degrees are in demand.

Our alumni study at:

  • California Western School of Law
  • George Mason University
  • Indiana University
  • Kapella University
  • Pepperdine Law School
  • San Diego State University 
  • University of Denver
  • University of Nevada, Reno


They work for:

  • FBI Cyber Division
  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Oxnard Police Department
  • San Diego Police Department
  • Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department
  • United States Customs
  • Ventura County Probation Agency

Career paths:

  • Correctional Counselor
  • Crime Analyst
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Customs Inspector
  • Highway Patrol Officer
  • Legal Assistant
  • Park Ranger
  • Parole and Probation Officer